To flesh out our coverage of Tennis Europe events at U16, U14 and U12 level, we’re producing a new fortnightly feature each Monday, which summarises the young Brits in action across Europe at Category 1, 2 & 3 events.
There was very little British interest a fortnight ago at any level of the Tennis Europe spectrum. The only person involved at U14 level was Isabella Nunez, was was seeded fifth at the Category 3 Kalovelonis Spring Tour event in Athens, Greece. Nunez was seeded fifth but fell in the first round 6-3 6-2 to Magdalini Adamopoulou of Greece.
The only person involved at U16 level last week was Erika Batista Dodridge, who took part in the Category 2 event at the Herodotou Tennis Academy in Cyprus. Dodridge was seeded 8th and came through her first round match before falling 7-6(3) 7-5 to Mariia Bergen of Ukraine in the second round.
Three Category 3 events attracted Brits this week. At the Guillermo Vilas Tennis Academy in Spain, Saffron Dowse and Lucy Edwards both fell in the first round, but qualifier Freia Lawrence won through to the second round before a tight 7-6(2) 6-3 defeat to third seed Dami Messiah Edibson of Spain ended her campaign. In the Boys’ draw, qualifier Josh Banks lost 6-1 6-2 to the second seed Anthony Genov of Bulgaria, but the real triumph was sixth seed Arthur Fery‘s performance to reach the quarter-finals before defeat to Miguel Gomes of Portugal.
At the Category 3 Vinkovci Open in Croatia, Charlotte Howard lost 6-1 6-2 to 13th seed Iva Divac in the first round.
The main event was, of course, in Nottingham. There were six female British quarter-finalists, With Victoria Subev upsetting top seed Holly Staff 7-6(5) 4-6 6-2 to set up a semi-final match with third seed MJ Changwereza, who defeated Latvian seventh seed Amelija Matjunina 6-0 6-0. Monica Raviraj was on the wrong side of a 7-5 7-6(5) tussle with the Russian fourth seed Iuliia Asanova, while second seed Kylie Bilchev won 6-4 6-3 against eighth seed Amelia Bissett to make it three out of four British semi-finalists. Changwereza came past Subev 6-2 6-0 and faced Bilchev in the final, and two tight tiebreaks settled things, Bilchev winning 7-6(2) 7-6(4).
In the Boys’ draw, there was less of a British invasion. British second seed Toby Samuel was beaten in the first round, and only three Brits made the quarters. Top seed Benjamin Heynold beat fellow Brit Ali Habib, a wildcard, 6-2 6-0 to become the only British semi-finalist after qualifier Felix Gill lost 7-6(9) 6-2 to fellow qualifier Mario Pena Garcia of Spain. Heynold reached the final after a three set victory over the Belgian third seed but couldn’t clinch the title, losing 6-1 1-6 6-4 against seventh seed Alexander Gilisen, also of Belgium.
At the Category 3 U12 event in Bressuire, France, Louis Davey was the star performer, reaching the final before losing to Frenchman Sean Cuenin 6-4 6-1. William Jansen also made the semi-finals, while qualifier Hugo Cochlin made the quarters. In the Girls’ event, Hannah Smith reached the semi-finals before a 6-1 7-5 defeat to Belgian Sofa Costoulas, while Jaquelyn Ogunwale made the last 16.